Controversial “Forever Marilyn” Statue Set To Return To Palm Springs
Aftab Dada, managing director of the Palm Springs Hilton and head of PS Resorts, wants to bring back a 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe. The stainless steel and aluminum statue was removed from Palm Springs in 2014. Dada believes it will be a become a huge tourist attraction once the statue is back in the desert, and fans can take pictures and post them on social media.
The statue, named “Forever Marilyn,” portrays Monroe in the white dress she used while filming The Seven Year Itch in 1955 – the scene where she holds down her dress as she stood on top of a subway grate.
Dada plans to place the statue in Palm Springs’ Coachella Valley. Though the statue was one of the greatest attractions in 2012-2014 before it was removed, the director of the Palm Springs Art Museum Louis Grachos isn’t happy about the return of the statue.
The plan is to place Forever Marilyn’s back in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum. “The thought of … kids leaving our museum and having the first thing they see is the undergarments and underwear of this enormous Marilyn sculpture would be highly offensive,” Grachos told the Palm Springs city council.
The council still voted to return the statue in its original spot.
Elizabeth Armstrong, a spokesperson for a Change.org petition that opposes the statue, said that Forever Marilyn is going “to be mooning the museum.”
The petition currently has nearly 40,900 signatures; their goal is to reach 50,000.
Armstrong believes the statue is “blatantly sexist,” and “forces people almost to upskirt,” which in the state of California, could be charged as a misdemeanor.
Dada is surprised by the degree of backlash the proposal has brought especially because the city is known for its art scene.
“We are going to conduct [an] independent research study and notify the city what the economic impact and benefit she has been,” said Dada.